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  • Writer's pictureKylie F. Kearns

What Do Flatback Turtles have to do with an RV Lithium System?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

The North West Shelf Flatback Conservation Program is a 30 year program designed to help understand the ecology and demography of the North West Shelf Flatback turtle stock, which includes turtles living off the Pilbara and southwest Kimberley coasts of Western Australia.

Conducted by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, staff and volunteers research Flatback Turtles by flipper tagging and collecting valuable data so the abundance and distribution of these creatures can be determined.

Later this month (October 2017), 12-14 Researchers will spend 4 weeks flipper tagging Flatbacks on the Island of Delambre, one of three significant nesting colonies within the Dampier Archipelago.

Delambre Island is void of any facilities so participants need to be completely self sufficient over this time.

Enter Install A Gadget with a custom designed portable RV Lithium System with Solar.

We’ll call the set up The Dept of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) Lithium Box.

  • The DBCA Lithium Box is capable of keeping up with no less than: 3 x fridges - 2 x Dometic RPD190 full size upright 190L Fridge/Freezers and 1 x 80L Waeco CF80 Chest Fridge/Freezer in temperatures ranging from low to mid 30’s to as high as 40 degrees celsius+

  • PLUS there’s LED Strip camp lights Laptop computers Tablets Mobile phones Cameras

What kind of photos do turtles take? “Shellfies!”

The DBCA Lithium Box Stats

  • 4 x 250W / 40V Individual Solar panels with angled legs weighing 18kg each. These are wired in series as two 80V Solar Panels.

  • The front face of The DBCA Lithium Box features a Victron BMV700 Battery meter with Bluetooth connectivity to a Smartphone, 3 x 12V Accessory Sockets, 3 x Twin USB Outlets and an RCD Protected 240V / 500W Power point.

  • On one side of the box is 3 x 24V Anderson Plug Outlets (for the fridges) and on the opposite side 3 x 80V Solar Input Anderson Plugs

  • The back vented section of the DBCA Lithium Box contains a 500W Victron Energy Inverter, a 70A / 150V MPPT Victron Energy Solar Controller with Bluetooth connectivity to a Smartphone and a 24V / 30A Enerdrive E Power Lithium 240V Battery Charger to connect to a generator for remote power back up - which we expect won’t be required.

  • At the heart of the DBCA Lithium Box is a 200AH / 24V RV Lithium Systems Battery Bank (which is equal to 400AH’s if it was set up as a 12V system) including an RV Lithium Systems custom Battery Management System.

  • The DBCA Lithium Box exterior is made of heavy duty 10mm HDPE, custom designed with four carry handles and mesh protected ventilation at the rear.

The DBCA was looking at an option of using 6x 120 AH AGM Batteries which would have been assembled on site and weigh 219kgs in batteries alone!

The new RVLSA batteries weigh in at a mere 50.4kg!

We wish all participants in the program fair weather, a most successful venture and maybe a small “shellebration“ when they conclude their duties.

For Further reading about the Northwest Shelf Flatback Conservation program see here:…/FullTextFiles/072176.pdf

For further information about RV Lithium Systems please visit: or email:

Photo of Flatback turtle from The Dept. of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions website, courtesy of Andrea Whiting.


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